Friday, 26 July 2013

Swordfish reported on a beach in Somerset

Swordfish in the Bristol Channel

July 2013. Wildlife Extra has found a few very small reports that a dead swordfish washed ashore on Berrow Beach in north Somerset at the end of June. The fish measured approximately 6-7 feet long, plus its sword, and apparently washed away on the next tide.

Second swordfish
Despite the rarity of this event, it is actually the second swordfish to have been found in this area. Another swordfish washed ashore on Barry Island, just across the Bristol Channel, in 2008. Amazingly, just a few weeks later, a Blue marlin was found washed ashore on another Welsh beach.

Grow up to 16 feet - One of the fastest fish
Swordfish can grow to 4.6 metres (16 feet) and weigh over 600 kg, so this one was small in global terms. They are often called a Broad-billed Swordfish, but there is only one species in the world. They are found throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the world but appear to prefer sea temperatures of 18°C to 22°C, migrating to cooler waters to feed in the summer.

These oceanic fish chase herring and mackerel and are among the fastest fish reaching 56 mph. This is in part due to their being warm-blooded, which allows not only their muscles but also their brain and eyes to work more efficiently.

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